Prime Minister David Cameron today announces firm action to prevent children having access to online porn as he appoints MP Claire Perry as his adviser on preventing the sexualisation of children.

Cameron promises action to protect children from online porn

The move comes nearly a week after Mr Cameron rejected calls for an automatic block on explicit sites, which meant users would have to "opt in" to be able to access such pages.

That announcement "disappointed" campaigning charities, but now it appears that the prime minister is taking a tougher stance than thought.

Today is that that under the new proposals web filters would be "default on" for houses with children.

Mr Cameron said: "A silent attack on innocence in under way in our country today and I am determined that we fight it with all we've got."

In order to implement his policy he has appointed the Conservation MP Claire Perry as his adviser on reversing the commercialisation and sexualisation of children.

Automatic block

Ms Perry has being leading the campaign for a broader automatic block on adult sites and last week urged the Government to "get a move on".

Speaking today, Ms Perry said: "I am absolutely delighted that the Prime Minister has asked me to be his adviser on preventing the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood. I am very much looking forward to helping the Government introduce more robust filters for internet content in our homes, working to improve age rating information on music videos, helping to improve education for parents and children about online safety and making sure the other excellent recommendations of the Bailey Report are implemented".

She will now be tasked with implementing a new web filter system which will also mean internet providers have to check the age of the person setting the controls in the first place.

The new proposals mean that when a new computer is switched on the owner will be asked if there are children in the house and if the response is "yes" they will asked to set internet filters.

Restricted access

These include options to block certain content, specific sites or restricting access at certain times of the day.

If parents click through the option quickly in the set up, filters against pornography and self harm sites will be left on. They will also have to verify that they are over 18.

Mr Cameron admitted the proposals had been informed by his own personal situation and said: "I am a father of three young children and I take this issue extremely seriously. To me, the fact that so many children have visited the darkest corners of the internet is not just a matter of concern -- it is utterly appalling."

But John Carr, internet adviser to the Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet safety said the move did not go far enough.

He said: "It's baby steps when a great leap was needed. It's a move in the right direction but could've gone further."

He pointed out that even if internet service providers were forced to implement the proposals, because ISPs had a 15 per cent turnover it would take six years until the restrictions were imposed on most computers. Meanwhile mobile phone users have put an automatic block on all adult content.

A Childline survey showed that 56 per cent of young people believed all illegal or inappropriate material should automatically be filtered out.